One of the most common reasons I've heard for induction of labor is that the baby will be too big. We know that induced labor is more painful than natural labor, and "medicalized" so to speak. We know that induction can raise the chances of cesarean.
There is evidence that the pelvis expands during childbirth. We know that ultrasounds are not 100% reliable on predicting a baby's size. [From ACOG, referenced below:
Weighing the newborn after delivery is the only way to accurately diagnose macrosomia, because the prenatal diagnostic methods (assessment of maternal risk factors, clinical examination and ultrasonographic measurement of the fetus) remain imprecise.
Still, women routinely are induced based on a baby's size.
I am very curious if women are truly being given a choice. If this is the reason given for induction - why not believe a doctor who tells you that your baby is probably too big to be born vaginally? If this is what a woman is made to believe, why would she choose to let nature take its course?
I believe in informed choice. I also believe this is an example of choice not truly being given to a patient.
Here is my personal interest in this issue.
Ten years ago, my cousin was induced because of her baby's size. The induction was managed horribly, her baby was stuck in the birth canal for 3 hours and finally, a c-section was done. He weighed around 8 lbs. He now suffers from cerebral palsy due to lack of oxygen. His head was twice its natural size and purple at birth.
I am not blaming the induction - exactly - she should have received labor support beyond uncaring nurses and yelling doctors. But I do wonder how the outcome would have been if nature had been allowed to take its course - natural labor, freedom to move, all the things that facilitate successful birth.
I wonder how different Kendra Wilkinson's story would be also - though thankfully, her baby is 100% healthy.